Literacy Coalition Receives ‘Lift Oswego’ Grant To Fund ‘Read To Them’ Project With Oswego City School District

Oswego Mayor William J. Barlow, (top right). met recently with representatives of the Literacy Coalition of Oswego County, (LCOC), the Oswego City School District, (OCSD), and Oswego County Opportunities, (OCO), to discuss the implementation of the Read To Them family literacy program for all elementary students in the OCSD. The $21,000 to fund the program was made possible through Mayor Barlow’s successful efforts to secure $400,000 in funding from the Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative, (ESPRI), which is administered through the city’s Poverty Reduction Taskforce (Lift Oswego). Joining Barlow are, from left: Carrie Plasse, OCSD; Mike Egan, president, LCOC; Dean Goewey, superintendent, OCSD; Barlow; Mary Curcio, LCOC; and Karen Ferguson, OCO collaboration coordinator.

OSWEGO – The Literacy Coalition of Oswego County and its partner, the Weston T. Hyde Foundation, were recently awarded a $21,900 “Lift Oswego” grant to implement the Read To Them family literacy program in the Oswego City School District.

Oswego Mayor William J. Barlow, (top right). met recently with representatives of the Literacy Coalition of Oswego County, (LCOC), the Oswego City School District, (OCSD), and Oswego County Opportunities, (OCO), to discuss the implementation of the Read To Them family literacy program for all elementary students in the OCSD. The $21,000 to fund the program was made possible through Mayor Barlow’s successful efforts to secure $400,000 in funding from the Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative, (ESPRI), which is administered through the city’s Poverty Reduction Taskforce (Lift Oswego). Joining Barlow are, from left: Carrie Plasse, OCSD; Mike Egan, president, LCOC; Dean Goewey, superintendent, OCSD; Barlow; Mary Curcio, LCOC; and Karen Ferguson, OCO collaboration coordinator.

The Lift grant was made possible through Oswego Mayor William J. Barlow’s successful efforts to secure $400,000 in funding from the Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative,  which is administered through the city’s Poverty Reduction Taskforce (Lift Oswego).

Read To Them was launched in the fall of 2018 and again in May 2019.

The project provides the same book to all students in Oswego elementary schools to engage the students and the parents in a “community read” with the goal of strengthening literacy skills.

Mike Egan, LCOC president, said he is grateful to the city of Oswego and Mayor Barlow for their ability to compete successfully for ESPRI funding.

“We are also grateful to Dr. Dean Goewey, OCSD superintendent, for partnering with LCOC to implement this program; and we appreciate Oswego County Opportunities and Karen Ferguson, OCO collaboration coordinator, as the lead agency for the structure and support they provided to operate the project,” he added.

“Read To Them would not have been possible without the backing of The Weston T. Hyde Oswego County Educational Foundation and President Stewart Amell. Their support was essential for the development and implementation of the project to bring this educational opportunity to the elementary students of the Oswego City School District.  LCOC would also like to thank Carrie Plasse and Mary Curcio (LCOC) as well for planning and executing the project,” said Egan.

In fall, 2018,  “Friendship According to Humphrey” by Betty Birney was read by more than 2,000 students and their families, Egan said. Beginning May 20, “The One and Only Ivan” will be read.

The Literacy Coalition of Oswego County is a growing coalition of more than 36 local organizations dedicated to improving literacy in our county.

The LCOC works to address the literacy needs of people of all ages, the areas they cover include basic literacy, workforce literacy, computer literacy, health literacy, and financial literacy.

“The Literacy Coalition of Oswego County is dedicated to supporting and expanding literacy services so that people can work, our economy can grow, families can thrive, and our community can prosper”said Egan.

An estimated 40 to 44 million adults in the United States demonstrate skills in the lowest level of prose, document, and quantitative proficiencies.

Many are unable to total an entry on a deposit slip, locate the time and place on a meeting form, or identify a piece of specific information in a brief news article (ProLiteracy Worldwide).

In Oswego County, close to 17,000 adults cannot read above a fifth-grade reading level.

With the help of volunteers, donors and advocates, the Literacy Coalition of Oswego County helps adults develop their basic literacy skills.

For more information about The Literacy Coalition of Oswego County, visit www.oswegocounty.com and click on the literacy coalition link, or find them on Facebook.

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